|M. L. Davis, Sr., was born in Van Cleve, Mississippi, on January 9, 1910. There he was to grow into manhood, join The Methodist Church, and later enter into the ministry of Christ in the church he loved so dearly. After serving for a brief time in Mississippi, he transferred to the Louisiana Conference where he served appointments to charges at Sibley, Hodge, Choudrant, Indian Bayou, Montgomery, Pollock, Angie-Varnado, and Walker. He retired from his appointment at Walker and moved to his home on the banks of the Tchefuncte River at Madisonville. It was from here that he received his last appointment to the Church Triumphant on Sunday evening, March 8, 1981.
Funeral services were held at the Walker United Methodist Church on March 10, 1981. It was a service of celebration and gratitude and was conducted by his Bishop, J. Kenneth Shamblin; his District Superintendent, Kirby A. Vining; and two of his “boys,” Rev. Larry Stafford and Rev. Joe McClain. Interment was in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery at his old home church in Van Cleve, Mississippi. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Betty Davis; two daughters, Mrs. Kadie Davis Farmer and Mrs. Betty Lounette Davis Verbois; two sons, M. L. Davis, Jr. and Randall Davis; two sisters, Miss Nannie V. Davis and Mrs. R. W. Brandon; one brother, J. W. Davis; six grandchildren; and a host of friends who knew and loved him.
M. L. Davis loved the United Methodist Church and those whom he served, but above all he loved the One whom he served. He gave himself in total commitment to the God of our faith who had called him into ministry. His was a radiant life and spirit. He was filled with a great joy. He loved to laugh, and preach, and sing, and play the piano; he loved camp meetings, and people, and life. His door was always open and a warm welcome brought you inside for rich fellowship, a hearty meal, and that special cup of coffee. Perhaps his most crowning virtue was his big heart, a heart that overflowed with unbounded generosity and deep concern. So much of his ministry was performed in places and to people unseen and unnoticed by the passing crowd. It was to some lonely person who desperately needed a friend, to some young person who needed encouragement and hope, to some older person who needed some sincere contact with the outside world, to someone in need for whom he could supply, even at great cost to himself, the means to meet and handle that need. So many of us have great cause to rise up in gratitude and call him “blessed.”
Although my own decision to enter the ministry had been made, it was my pastor, M. L Davis, who guided me carefully through the formal steps of entering the ministry. He personally took me in his car and at his expense to seminary to see that I was enrolled. He supported and under girded me with his prayers during our ministry across these years as fellow pastors. On Sunday evening, March 8, 1981, he telephoned me. He asked about our district conference that afternoon, and inquired as to the state of affairs in our district and our conference. He then told me that he was ready for another appointment. His doctor had indicated to him that he could take a small work, and M. L. was ready. After reassuring me of his continuing love and interest in my family, and of his continuing supportive prayers for my ministry, he hung up his phone. Only minutes later he was gone from us. He had answered God’s call to the Church Triumphant.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of they Lord.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1981, p. 171 By Kirby A. Vining|